About the Test (Eighth Grade Program)

The Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam

The Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam is given from October through January to 8th grade students seeking admission to one of ten Selective Enrollment High Schools. The same exam and process is used by all of these schools. Students must achieve a 24% or or above in Reading and Math on the MAP test to sit for this exam.

The exam format may change from year to year. The exam, including administrative time, lasts about three hours. There is no essay section(s) on the exam.

Our program provides a rigorous review of the concepts that will be covered on the exam. That way, students are well prepared for Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam, regardless of the ultimate format chosen by CPS.

Exam topics include:

  • Reading Comprehension. The reading section assesses comprehension of two types of reading material:
    • non-fiction (e.g., science, social studies, humanities, general information, etc.)
    • fiction (e.g., poems, dialogue, short stories, etc.)

The test questions cover various comprehension skills from the basic literal level up to the inferential and critical levels of reading comprehension. Students will also be tested for their ability to analyze words (e.g., idioms, metaphors, etc.) and to interpret word meanings given a particular context.

  • Mathematics. The math section assesses the ability to compute as well as apply math concepts to problem-solving situations. Word problems are emphasized. No formula sheets or calculators are permitted. Topics include:
    • fractions and decimals
    • arithmetic
    • number properties
    • percents
    • scientific notation
    • ratios & proportions
    • algebra
    • probability
    • interpretation of graphs
    • geometry
  • Language. The language section assesses:
    • punctuation
    • capitalization
    • application of grammatical concepts
    • language expression
    • word manipulation
    • recognition of effective sentence structure and writing style
  • Vocabulary. The vocabulary section assesses your child’s knowledge of word roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

The SelectivePrep program to prepare for the Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam starts in September.

Test Taking Tips

Some standardized tests have a “guessing penalty” or mechanism that subtracts a portion of the incorrect answers from the correct ones. The Selective Enrollment Entrance Exam has not included such a guessing penalty in the past, and SelectivePrep has no reason to believe it will have one in the future.

Do tell your child to listen carefully to directions on test day. If a penalty for answering a question incorrectly is not mentioned, your child should assume that it doesn’t exist.

Unless a guessing penalty is mentioned, your child should answer all questions.

Special education students. Secure proper testing accommodations ahead of time so your child’s needs will be met. Make sure that your child knows what he or she is entitled to in case there are any issues that come up at the testing site.

For more test taking tips, click here.